Alexander the Great Essay was born in June, 356 BCE in the ancient capital of Macedonia called Pella. He was the son of Philip II, King of Macedon and Olympia, Princess of Epirus. Alexander inherited his father’s excellent organization skills and his mother’s hot temper. When Alexander was a young boy his mother had taught him that Achilles was his ancestor and that his father is a descendant from Hercules.
This inspired Alexander to learn the Iliad by heart and always carry with him. Alexander showed signs of fearlessness and strength at a very early age. He tames the horse Bucephalus, which was a horse that nobody touched or rode. Later in his life Alexander rode Bucephalus to India, where it died. He then built the city of Bucephalus on the Hyphasis River in memory of his horse. Alexander’s parents saw the potential in their son to be a great leader, so they hired Aristotle as his personal tutor.
Aristotle and Alexander studied together at Mieza, a temple 20 miles from his palace in Pella. Alexander learned philosophy, politics, ethics and medicine, as well as played sports and exercised daily to develop a strong body. Aristotle also sparked Alexander’s interest in other countries and races of people. When he was eighteen, Alexander commanded part of his father’s cavalry at the battle of Chaeronea.
In 335 BCE, Philip II was assassinated, and at the age of twenty Alexander ascended to the Macedonian throne. When Alexander took the throne many people were plotting to conspire against him. Alexander quickly disposed of them by execution. By doing this Alexander quickly showed his authority and power.
In the spring of 336 BCE Alexander learned that the people of Thebes revolted and called for the people of Athens to join them. Soon after hearing this Alexander gathered his army and appeared before the people of Thebes and took over the city. Alexander and his army destroyed everything except the temples of the gods and a Greek poet named Pindar’s house. The estimated 8,000 inhabitants still alive were sold into slavery by Alexander. In 334 BCE he carried out a successful campaign against the Persians.
He crossed the Hellepont with an army of 35,000 Macedonian and Greek troops. At the Granicus River, near the ancient city of Troy, he attacked over 44,000 Persians successfully. According to ancient tradition, Alexander was said to have lost only 110 men. Following this battle Alexander took control of all Asia Minor.
While Alexander passed through Phrygia, he cut the Gordian knot. The Gordian knot was tied by Gordius, the ancient King of Phrygia. The prophecy behind the knot was that it was to be undone by the person who was to rule Asia. In 332 BCE Alexander took control of Tyre, a heavily fortified seaport. He continued to seize Gaza as well as Egypt and therefore secured his holds on the eastern Mediterranean coast. At the mouth of the Nile Rive, Alexander founded Alexandria.
Alexandria would later become the commercial, literary, and scientific center of the Greek world. In the spring of 331 BCE Alexander went to the temple and oracle of Amon-Ra, the Egyptian sun god. The earlier Egyptian pharaohs believed that they were sons of Amon-Ra. Alexander wanted to be accepted as the ruler of Egypt and as a son of Amon-Ra. By 327 BCE Alexander the Great has completed conquering the Persian Empire, most of Asia, as well as Afghanistan, Balochistan and modern Russia Turkestan.
Alexander still had plans such as governmental reorganization and an expedition to Arabia. On June 13, 323 BCE Alexander contracted a dangerous fever and died. His body was placed in a gold coffin and taken to Memphis, in Egypt. Later it was taken to Alexandria and placed in a tomb. Alexander’s only son, Alexander IV, was born after his death.
He left his empire, in his own words “to the strongest”. His leading generals fought each other for control over Alexander’s empire. No single leader emerged out of the fighting and Alexander’s once powerful empire split up into individual states and monarchies. Alexander the Great was stands out in history as a powerful and ruthless general as well as an intelligent tactician .